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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Divorce Hurts Children

So a new song is on the radio. The funniest line especially for this day and age is “I’m at a pay phone trying to call home all of my change I spent on you.” 

The guys look and sound young but that so dates them. It doesn’t even hardly make sense.

The sad part for me came when they sing “If happy ever after did exist then I would still be holding you…” 

Now I know it is just another love song. I further understand how love and what we think is love can go wrong. 

Still I was raised in a family where marriages held together until death. 

My parents and both sets of grandparents lived this out for me. 

My paternal grandmother got pregnant before she married my grandfather. 

They also grew very much apart during my life time. Makes me think it might have been a little shot gun on her part. 

Never the less there was never talk of divorce.

My maternal grandfathers' brother married my maternal grandmothers' sister. 

So there was at least one double connection of the two families. They also have a strong family resemblance that came through on both sides. 

We all look alike.

They had 18 children together. 

These children are all grown up now with families of their own. They have their share of marriages, babies and divorces like all other modern families. 

Still there are those who have made it and always the example to look back upon.

I can see even in people my age that this is rare. Couples my parents befriended broke up as I have been raising my daughter. A few kids I went to school with were from broken families. 

Now almost all the children my daughter has been in school with seem to be.

We were in a random bank the other day, cashing some random child support checks when the worker we were dealing with just began unloading about her marriage break up situation pertaining to her young children. 
I listened and tried to console her a bit. Management was watching and trying to speed things along so we did not have must time.

“I am at the house all the time” she said. 

"The only major change is that I sleep elsewhere. Still my son is angry (hurt) and upset about it all. Now there are problems in school and else where. The x and I do not fight in front of the kids" she told us. 

She spoke with shocked sincerity.

I have no nice way to tell parents: if you get divorced it will traumatize your children.

Think car accident, a really bad sports or house hold injury, a dog bite or even getting shot.

If one of those things happens in the life of a child the family knows; there might be scars, this is extremely painful, there is a recovery period, this involves trauma and their might be lifelong loss, injury or repercussion.
Emotionally, parents divorcing is just that intense. 

Yes good divorces. 

Yes divorces where living together was hell. 

There is something comforting and foundational about a young persons’ parents being together. 

Having them break up has the reverse effect even if the two adults never belonged together.

It does not mean stay in all bad marriages. 

It does not mean there is no hope. 

What this means is parents need to be aware of the damage being inflicted. 

They need to walk through it with their children for as long as it takes.

We can control our actions but not how it affects other people, to what degree or for how long.

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